A distinct and positive difference from 2009.
Energy on the exhibition floor. Traffic was brisk and enthusiasm abounded. I do not know the attendance comparatives from last year but there was a dramatic and upbeat change in the mood.
Cautious optimism. Last year most conversations were punctuated by gloom & doom. The conversations I participated in (or overheard) this year were filled with ‘moving forward' and accepting the changes necessary to go beyond survival to long term success.
Education sessions & workshops. I mostly attended the marketing sales tracts; 4 sessions actually. They were standing room only with top notch presentations and presenters. Much focus on the benefits, the ‘how to' and the results of effective online marketing. It was noticeable that the depth of knowledge and experience in online marketing for homebuilders and developers is starting to be more common place and more leaders are catching the wave. Unfortunately, most of the focus was on how to use online to attract leads with very little information about how to then nurture prospects through their buying cycle to close. But it was a heck of a good start in blending ‘new school' with 'old school' marketing techniques. Mike Lyon stopped me on the floor and got me on video:
Cocktail Events. Very well done and thanks much to the hosts for the invites. And Las Vegas is so much fun après the organized events. I wish IBS was in Vegas every year.
My non scientific conclusion: Confidence is building. With noticeable enthusiasm for the future of the homebuilding industry and for the professionals who make it such a great industry to serve.